Mouth Guards

Published on March 14, 2014 by

One of the most important and yet under-used tools available to help preserve your smile is the dental mouth guard.

Also known as occlusal guards, bite splints,bite planes and dental guards they serve a very practical purpose of protecting your teeth from damage caused by trauma.

There are two primary classes of mouth guards. Mouth guards worn during the day for sports, and other activities where external trauma to the head and face are a risk factor; and Night guards (which can also be worn during the day) but are primarily for protecting the teeth against damage caused by internal stress or grinding.

This condition known as bruxism is when extreme clenching of the teeth and jaw over time cause damage to the teeth. It can lead to fractures and other painful (and expensive) dental problems. Many people have the tools to cope during the day but will grind and clench at night in their sleep,hence the recommendation for a night guard.

There are many products available to consumers, and while using something is better than nothing, the inferior products you can purchase in a retail location, often don’t stand up to the forces involved.

Having a custom guard fabricated using molds of your teeth by a dental professional is really the better way to go. They will always fit better, feel better, last longer and protect more thoroughly.

We (and every dentist we know) have had patients come in with injuries sustained during sports while wearing a pre-fab or boil and bite mouth guard.

Consider having yours done, consult with your dentists, or call us if you have any questions.

 

modelguard

Quitting Tobacco

Published on August 28, 2013 by

Save your own life: Quit tobacco

By quitting:

  • Within weeks of quitting circulation improves, your immune system gets a boost making it easier to fight off colds & flu. Increased oxygen in the body makes it less likely you will headaches and all physical activities become easier.
  • The risk of heart disease, stroke, cancers and lung diseases drops significantly. Breathing is easier, though the immediate effect is good, the greater lung capacity can make an enormous difference later in life.
  • Your children will be less likely to use tobacco.
  • After quitting your risk for gum disease drops. You are less likely to have chronic bad breath, nicotine stained teeth, and premature loss of teeth due to tobacco.
  • Half of all long term smokers die from smoking related diseases such as heart disease, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, etc.  Quitting can add years of (better quality) life to your life span.
  • Your skin and body will look younger. Stopping now can slow facial aging and delay the appearance of wrinkles. The sallow lined “leather faced” look of some long term tobacco users can be lessened and even reversed for a more beautiful complexion.
  • Passive smoking or second hand smoke poses a very real danger to the loved ones in any smokers’ life. Children of smokers are twice as likely to have pneumonia croup, bronchitis, ear infections, asthma, and wheezing, than those who live with non-smokers.
  • The financial advantages are substantial as well. With the current prices, each of cigarettes costs between 8 and 10 dollars each the savings alone is nearly three hundred dollars a month. Can reach over three thousand dollars in a year. Think about what that money could be used for.

 

Tips to help you quit:

 

  • Drink water to flush toxins from your body
  • Keep your hands busy with something you like to do.
  • Change any routines that involve smoking or tobacco products.
  • If you have tried and failed to quit before think about what helped and what didn’t work.
  • Identify what triggers the urge to smoke and try to avoid the trigger or replace the tobacco with something else like an activity or chewing sugar free gum.
  • Choose a quit date a little ways away and post it prominently where you can see it often, try making small changes as you lead up to it, cutting down and changing behavior, so that the last day you smoke is not a total shock to you system.
  • Talk to a health care provider abut medications or other aids you can use to help you quit.
  • Identify the reasons you want to quit. Write them down and refer to them often.
  • Build a support system: friends, family, co-workers,online support groups, in person support groups, CT quitline, BecomeAnEx.org. Tell them your plans and that you want their support in quitting.

 

Try: 1-800 QUITNOW or register at www.quitnow.net/connecticut  for help with your quit plan

Connecticut Department of Health: www.ct.gov/dph/tobacco has information on group and individual programs in your area.

 

 

Dental Abrasion

Published on July 30, 2013 by

The clinical term “non-carious loss of tooth structure” describes the loss of dental integrity for causes not associated with cavities or decay. One of these causes is abrasion during brushing by tooth paste and hard bristle brushes.

The advantages of thoroughly cleaning your teeth every day cannot be properly measured. You get to keep your teeth, fresh breath, better overall health, and a beautiful smile, just to name a few…

However, the combination of highly abrasive toothpaste, “whitening” products, hard bristle brushes, and the tendency of some people to brush harder and longer in an effort to achieve a brighter, whiter smile has led to this fairly common problem seen by dentists today. People wearing away their own teeth.

To help avoid this problem:  1. Use a soft or ultra-soft bristle tooth brush. 2. Avoid toothpaste that is abrasive: Usually anything labeled “whitening” is very abrasive since whitening toothpastes rely on silicate particles to scrub the staining away. 3. Don’t brush too hard. A gentle but thorough cleaning is best.

Below is a list of popular toothpaste with their RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasivity) values. Every FDA approved toothpaste is evaluated and assigned a value on the scale of Relative Dentin Abrasivity. The FDA and ADA regard 200 as the harmful limit for toothpaste abrasiveness. To avoid damage to your teeth try and use products on the low end of the scale .

The RDA table:

0-70 =low abrasive   70-100=medium abrasive       100-150 highly abrasive   150-250=can be harmfully abrasive

Toothpaste                                RDA value                   Toothpaste                                RDA value

Plain water + toothbrush                 04                         Tom’s of Maine Regular                 93

Plain baking soda                            07                         Rembrandt Plus                             94

Arm & Hammer Tooth Powder         08                         Crest Regular                                95

Arm & Hammer Dental Care           35                          Natural White                                101

Squiggle Enamel Saver                   44                         Arm & Hammer Sensation            103

Oxyfresh                                           45                         Sensodyne Extra Whitening         104

Arm & Hammer  Sensitive               48                          Colgate Platinum                          106

Tom’s of Maine Sensitive                 49                          Arm & Ham. Adv. Wh. Paste         106

Arm & Ham. Peroxicare Reg.          52                          Crest Sensitivity                            107

Rembrandt Original                          53                         Colgate Herbal                               110

Arm & Ham.  PM Bold Mint              54                          Aquafresh Whitening                     113

Tom’s of Maine                                 57                         Arm & Ham. Adv White Gel            117

Supersmile                                       62                          Arm & Ham. Tarter Control             117

Rembrandt Mint                               63                          Close Up with Baking Soda            120

Colgate Regular                               68                          Colgate Whitening                          124

Children’s Colgate                            68                          Crest Extra Whitening                     130

Colgate Total                                     68                          Ultra Brite Crest                             133

Arm & Ham. Adv. Wh. Sensitive       70                          Crest Multicare whitening               144

Colgate 2 in I Fresh Mint                  70                           Ultra Brite Adv. White                     145

Sensodyne                                        79                          Pepsodent                                       150

AIM                                                    80                          Colgate Tartar Control                    165

Tooth and Gum care                          83                          Colgate Luminous                            175

Colgate Sensitive Max. Str.                83                         Colgate 2 in 1 Tartar control             200

Strength Aquafresh Sensitive            91                           Natural White Beverly Hills              220

Dry Mouth

Published on July 26, 2013 by

At-Home Care for Dry Mouth

For Patients with chronic dry mouth stemming from a variety of causes.

Also recommended for use during and after radiation treatments.

  • Brush teeth with prescription fluoride toothpaste ( do not rinse afterwards). At night brush ½ hour before bedtime. Try not to rinse mouth or drink fluids after this.
  • Apply MI paste plus 3 to 4 times a day and directly before going to bed.
  • Rinse with Caphosol®, Netrasol®, or plain water with baking soda rinse (1 tsp. baking soda in 8 oz. water) after meals and snacks. Mouthwash should be alcohol free.
  • Chew gum containing xylitol throughout the day. A piece of chewing gum in the mouth can stimulate salivary flow from remaining functional glands in case of TMJD
  • Brush teeth and tongue with powered (sonic) toothbrush with gentle pressure.
  • Use a prescription sialogogue. (pilocarpine or Cevimeline) up to 3 to 4 times per day. Also during radiation treatments take a tablet/capsule 1 hour prior to treatment.
  • Low fluoride containing rinse after meals. (Especially after acidic meals)
  • Post-Radiation- break vitamin E capsules in mouth, swish and spit up to three times a day.
  • Keep a humidifier in the room set at 50% at night.
  • Use other sugar/alcohol free oral comforting (over the counter) agents such as Biotene®, or Oasis® if relief is perceived.
  • Visit the dentists every three months for a complete exam, cleaning and topical fluoride treatments.
  • Restore teeth as soon as carious lesions appear
  • Frequent large sipping or drinking of water does not help relieve dryness of the oral cavity. Try taking small sips to wet the oral mucosa which gives the sensation of wetness in the gums and mouth but does not was away salivary proteins.

Preserving Teeth

Published on July 19, 2013 by

PRESERVING TEETH FOR A LIFETIME

It is very possible today to keep your teeth healthy and strong your entire life. The following steps are a helpful guideline (not a comprehensive instruction manual) for how to achieve that goal.

  • BRUSH AND FLOSS DAILY Two minutes on top and two minutes on the bottom. Most dental disease is caused by the bacteria (mouth dust) that live in our mouths and collect on our tooth surfaces. Tooth decay, gum disease and bone loss around the roots of teeth is caused by this bacteria.
  • DON’T FEED THE BACTERIA too often. Keeping caloric things (e.g. candy, ginger ale, coffee or tea with sugar, etc.) in the mouth too frequently during the day will increase your rate of tooth decay. Water is the safest choice, as it has no calories. Remember, as long as you have teeth you are in your cavity prone years.
  • BE AWARE OF CHANGES in your eating or drinking habits that would increase how often you feed the bacteria. Try and keep these under control.
  • DON’T USE YOUR TEETH AS TOOLS Don’t: Chew Ice, open packages, bite fingernails, and don’t crack unpopped popcorn kernels (or the like) with your teeth.
  • WEAR SEAT BELTS Impact injuries sustained in a car accident can destroy a mouth full of healthy teeth.
  • WEAR A MOUTH-GUARD If you participate in any sport in which you may be hit in the face (basketball, soccer, football, hockey, etc.) wear proper protection. If you clench or grind your teeth in your sleep, wear a night guard to prevent long term damage.
  • DON’T GRIND OR CLENCH YOUR TEETH. Teeth are not meant to touch. Consciously keeping them apart will prevent tooth wear and ease some head and neck pain. Consider a stock or custom night guard to prevent this while asleep. Most importantly, be mindful of your stress and anxiety levels. Managing stress, whatever the source, will prevent you from taking it out on your teeth.
  • CONTROL STOMACH ACID IN THE MOUTH Stomach acid can destroy tooth structure very quickly. Throwing up as a method of weight control or due to frequent illness will lead to catastrophic tooth loss. Severe acid reflux into the mouth can also cause severe decay. If you do throw up frequently or have acid in the mouth, rinse frequently with water to dilute the acid.
  • REGULARLY SCHEDULE HYGIENE AND EXAM VISITS. Frequency will vary from every six to every three months depending on the present state of your dental health, your past dental history, and how religious you are in brushing your teeth.
  • DON’T PUT BABIES TO SLEEP WITH JUICE OR MILK BOTTLES This will quickly result in what is known as “baby bottle decay” or “bottle caries”. Breastfeeding mothers should also be careful not the let baby fall asleep while breastfeeding. This results in what is now being called “breastfeeding caries”.
  • AVOID ABRASIVE DENTAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS While regular brushing and flossing are good for oral health, using highly abrasive toothpaste (often labeled as “whitening”) and hard bristle brushes can actually wear away tooth structure, doing more harm to teeth. A soft bristle brush with a low abrasive paste or liquid will get your teeth just as clean and help preserve tooth structure.
  • TREAT CHRONIC DRY MOUTH Dry Mouth, often caused by underlying medical conditions, or medications can increase a person’s risk of gingivitis, tooth decay and mouth infections. Stimulating the salivary glands with sugar free gum chewing, frequent SMALL sips of water to wet the oral mucosa, and using OTC comforting agents for dry mouth are a few ways to treat this chronic problem.

Let’s See Here

Published on July 12, 2013 by

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